The Birmingham Mail is reporting that a local school was closed yesterday as staff stage a strike over fears it is to be converted into an academy.
Teachers took to the picket lines outside Small Heath School this morning – marking the fourth day of strike action to have taken place at the school since May.
Staff belonging to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) and National Union of Teachers (NUT) are taking park in the strike at the local authority-controlled school.
The Waverley Road school – previously rated “outstanding” was plunged into special measures by Ofsted in January, months after it was given a clean bill of health during the Trojan Horse scandal.
Inspectors found “tensions” between the leadership team and longer-serving staff members were “damaging the school’s progress and capacity to improve”.
Former headteacher Shanaz Khan went on sick leave and did not return at the start of the new academic year in September.
Tony Wilson was appointed interim head and the recruitment process for a permanent appointment is set to begin after Christmas.
In a joint statement, the union members said: “After much deliberation, and with a great deal of regret, members have taken the difficult decision to take a fourth day of strike action in opposition to any proposed conversion to academy status and consequential threat to (staff) terms and conditions….”
A joint statement by headteacher Mr Wilson and the board’s chairman Mr Parker on the school’s website added: “The reasons given by the unions for taking industrial action is the assumed threat to staff pay and conditions that would result from Small Heath School becoming an academy.
“We should like to emphasise that the situation is unchanged from when the unions last took strike action in October; that is there is currently no proposal to make Small Heath School an academy and, if and when there is, a consultation process will take place…”
However strongly the staff may feel about the school possibly becoming an academy, is it really appropriate to keep striking without there even being a proposal on the table?
Or am I missing something?
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